Final Workshops on Animal Care Standards Scheduled
June 12, 2012
The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation was prompted to develop animal care standards in order to provide more detail and clarification on the minimum standards of care for animals. The end goal of the workshops is to provide clear standards for the public, law enforcement and courts as to what constitutes adequate feeding, watering, and environment for common livestock and pets in Alaska.
The impetus for this effort was the passage of legislation several years ago which tasked the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation with the development of animal care standards. Almost every other state has created similar standards to guide private veterinarians and law enforcement as they investigate animal cruelty cases. Without standards, it is difficult to determine what constitutes animal abuse and neglect.
The development of detailed animal care standards will assist both Alaska peace officers and the courts statewide. Peace officers are responsible when conducting animal cruelty investigations to consult with a veterinarian, if possible, before taking protective custody of an animal. Animal care standards will provide both peace officers and veterinarians clear and objective criteria to assist them in determining whether the animal care that is provided is adequate or if protective custody of an animal is necessary. Detailed animal care standards are also needed for the courts in making decisions on animal cruelty cases.
Once completed, the animal care standards will be included as a section within the Animal Health Regulations, Title 18, Chapter 36. The entire Chapter 36 is currently under revision and a draft will be published for public comment after the animal care section is drafted with the input gained from the public workshops.
The final workshops will cover general care standards and humane euthanasia, as well as have open forum time for comments on specific animal species. This third series of workshops will be held from 3:30 p.m. until 5 p.m. on June 27 and July 2. The public is invited to discuss what they believe should be included in animal care standards for Alaska.
Agendas for the workshops will be posted approximately one to two weeks in advance of each meeting. Minutes of the workshops after they occur are also available online for the public to read.
All interested persons are invited to attend by telephone at 1-800-315-6338 (use pass code 8213 when prompted) or in person at the State Environmental Health Laboratory at 5251 Dr. MLK, Jr. Ave, Anchorage, AK, 99507. Those unable to attend meetings can submit comments to the Department in writing via mail or email.
The workshops were divided into five separate animal categories which included various livestock, cats, dogs and birds.
No proposed regulations have been formally public noticed for comment at this time. Animal care standards regulations will be proposed and a formal public comment period will be held for the entire regulation package later this year.
A formal public comment period will be held for the entire proposed animal care standards regulation package later this year.
Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews
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